Practitioner ordered to pay for demolition damage

A practitioner has had his building registration suspended and was directed to pay over $24,000 for damage caused to a neighbouring Footscray property, following a Victorian Building Authority (VBA) investigation.

Sam Baraka (BD-L 41193) has been ordered to pay the adjoining property owner $24,587.54 after demolition works carried out resulted in damaged weatherboards and bathroom tiles caused by an excavator.

Mr Baraka has had his registration suspended by the VBA for two months and has been ordered to undertake additional training.

The VBA’s Regulatory Operations Executive Director David Brockman said the situation could have been avoided if the proper processes had been followed.

“Mr Baraka failed to ensure the demolition works were carried out in accordance with the Building Act 1993, the regulations and the building permit and have the necessary protections in place.”

“This is a reminder to all practitioners to know and follow the steps you must take before engaging in any work. Failure to follow the rules can result in property damage or injury and lead to disciplinary action for those involved,” Mr Brockman said.

Mr Baraka was also found to have engaged in unprofessional conduct by allowing a body corporate of which he was not a director to enter into a major domestic building contract naming him as the registered practitioner.

He also failed to comply with protection work requirements before carrying out the demolition works and then failed to fix the damage to the neighbouring building.

Mr Baraka can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of the decision.

Victorians wanting to engage a builder or plumber can visit vba.vic.gov.au/find

The VBA has an online consumer resource portal with information for anyone who is experiencing issues with builders or plumbers.

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